tv District of Columbia v. Heller Anniversary Panel at Conservative Political... CSPAN February 26, 2018 10:11am-10:41am EST
see of the second amendment recognized? >> when i started becoming aware, i had a mantra. i said in a totally free country you do not need permission from the government to defend your life and own a firearm. a fellow walked into my office, i'm a policeman full time, a fellow walked into my office, i said oh, you're from florida or someplace, some constitutional carry state which means you don't need any government interaction to own a firearm. i said oh, you're from say it is arizona. you're from arizona. i said you have constitutional carry there. his response was well, why would you want a piece of paper from the government to own a firearm? and i think that's it. that was beautiful. >> thank you for showing us how any american can fight for our individual rights, take it all the way. when the government oversteps
our rights, constitutional or individual rights, one man can make a difference. >> one person out there, every single one of you can do something. and it will build a ladder. keep it up. >> love it. thank you. thank you. . >> hello there. thank you all for coming out. is this not the best cpac ever?
all right. let's get started. after the last panel, i think emma and dick set it up quite nicely for us. i'm actually going to go to graham hill first before we ask him some questions, let me tell you who he is. he was born and raised hunting and shooting in texas. i said texas. where he remains an active hunter and shooter with his three boys and his wife. active shooting sports competitor, three gun idpa and managing partner of law firm ice miller d.c. office and ceo of ice miller strategies. held several positions in congress and served in the bush administration as well. please welcome graham hill.
i am going to introduce everybody. carrie lightfoot, founder and owner of well armed woman, the largest most trusted woman shooter resource and product company. carrie is also founder and chair woman of the board of well armed shooting chapters, the nation's largest nonprofit woman shooting organization with 380 chapters in 49 states, folks. >> that's a lot of estrogen. >> yeah. carrie is consultant to the firearms industry and author, popular national speaker, frequent guest in national media. please give a warm welcome to carrie lightfoot. my partner in crime to my left, willes lee, retired army lieutenant colonel.
he is president of the national federation of republican assemblies. he is co-chairman of the trump pence second amendment coalition, current rnc member, founder of rnc conservative caucus. lee is retired airborne ranger, u.s. military academy at west point graduate, with degrees -- i read that too fast, didn't i, engineering, public administration. willes, by the way, i have to cut his bio. it is a lot more than this. of all his accomplishments, willes is most proud of his wife and church, our savior lutheran church in virginia. let's start with you, graham. emma and dick did a wonderful job.
i was particularly interested that they said the heller decision or dick said that what they won or emma said that what they won was the right to keep. but as we all know, the second amendment says keep and bear arms. so the important distinction. can you talk a little about that? >> thank you very much. thank you for having us here and having this panel. that's an important distinction. the heller decision had two landmark characters. first, it established once and for all there's an individual right protected in the constitution, that had been unsettled previously. the facts of the case that dick and emma discussed were to can you own your own gun in your home for self defense. and the court said yes. that leaves open a huge range of practical activities that we all associate with the second amendment. they make enjoying the second amendment, exercising that freedom practical. those were left undecided in
heller. in the time since then, what we have seen is legislatures filled out the larger meaning. in conservative states like texas where i'm from, practical associated activities are very robust. you enjoy great second amendment freedoms. but if you're in california, illinois, maryland, or new york, those state legislatures define those associated activities very narrowly. in fact, just this week on tuesday the supreme court denied review of a case out of california that the ninth circuit held that restricts your second amendment rights. yesterday the second circuit, just yesterday, upheld a new york city law that says if i have a permit in new york city, what's called a premises permit, i can't take my pistol to westchester county to a range and bring it back into the city. the second circuit said that doesn't violate your second
amendment rights. they're defining that in a way that's incredibly narrow and i would argue is impractical. that's the battle if i can say it that way that's been occurring since the heller decision. so we all have two things we can do. we have to fight in the legislature, make sure we get people elected there that appreciate the size and scope of the second amendment, what it should really mean. that will allow people like carrie to do the wonderful work she does empowering women. willes does tremendous amount of work in those legislatures, trying to make sure they appreciate this. and we have to make sure judges are appointed at the federal level that respect. >> doing a pretty good job with that. with a quick follow-up. you say the bottom line as important and critical as the heller decision was, it is essentially one half of the or
one slice of the apple, that we have to carry the ball further to make sure the second part of the second amendment is ratified. >> imagine that was the first amendment and all the protected speech you enjoyed was as long as you are in your home. think of all of the other meanings of that right, what that freedom really means. it wouldn't be covered by it. that's a way to think about what's ahead of us. it is going to say a lot. freedom is always one generation from being gone. all of you out there, this next generation, you have to fight that fight. we're here because of people that went before us, people like willes that fought to preserve these liberties, like carrie, helping people defend themselves. the je the next generation has to do that as well. >> all coming around through the states, sneaking through the states. we all have to be so active in supporting the local second amendment organizations on the ground at home because we get
distracted by the federal stuff here, but dangerous stuff at the state level. >> that's a segue where i want to go with you. you've got a powerful organization. i think about all your chapters, all these women, learning to keep and bear arms and be proficient and be professional with it, you know, and i think of the contrast, i think of you and your organization and all of these women up there, learning to shoot and shoot accurately. i think of that in contrast if you will of certain aspects of the me too moment and victimology that's promoted. you know the french actress katherine denewera criticized the movement, saying it is promoting victimology. i was wondering if you could talk about your organization and contrast if you will, empowerment versus being a victim for women. >> right. that's who we are. we are about breaking the chains
of victimhood for women, through empowerment of their own self protection. because you know what, there's women out here, women are tired of being sexually harassed. they're tired of being assaulted. they're tired of being raped. we are tired of being murdered. women, you know, we're the prey. women are the prey of violent crime. so women across this country are saying you know what, not me. i will not be a victim again or ever. yes. never. so i get to see women kind of make that transition into their own self protector because women have historically been the protect protected gender, either the men of the world or law enforcement. we already know the failures in counting on our government and local services to protect us. they can't do it. we have to be our own first responders. so through educating and equipping and empowering women
into that role, they are taking their lives back. you know, we have women 18 to 92 in our organization. do you know how awesome it is to see a 90-year-old woman take her life back, to feel like she can go to the store if she needs to. because as i said earlier, women are the prey of violent crime, and we kind of are born with that target on our back. there's disparity of force. typically we're smaller and weaker. so as we age, that target gets bigger and bigger and bigger. to be able to assist women into taking that life back, shrinking that target, it is a remarkable thing to see. i see women liberated from bondage of fear every day. and it is an absolutely beautiful thing. >> bless you for what you're doing and with your chapters. you're not only helping women defend themselves, i get the feeling men might behave a
little better knowing how well armed women are. >> you know, it changes them. women are really changed by it, just that confidence, you know. and i teach the women in our organization, it is about their confidence. when a woman's confidence grows and they go i got this, i'm good, i can take care of myself, no matter what comes my way, it changes everything. changes how they relate to people, how they relate to bosses and work and how they go through a parking lot. women are tired of it. no more abuse. no more violence. take it back. >> of course the elephant in the room is the horrific tragedy that occurred in florida and of course before that in my hometown of las vegas and any human life, innocent human life
that is lost is a terrible, terrible tragedy, but reality is those precious lives that were lost in florida and las vegas and new town and other ma massacres. it is also important that precious lives are lost every day in big cities like chicago, baltimore, philadelphia, in all these areas where they have the strictest, most repressive gun prohibition gun control laws in the nation. people are more vulnerable, decent, law abiding people are vulnerable to crime. criminals don't pay attention to gun laws. decent people do. willes, you spent an awful lot of time with legislatures across the country in red states and with the blue states. can you tell us practically speaking how the heller decision
has manifested itself, particularly in blue cities and states? >> thanks, niger. i spent a lot of time working specifically in blue states. that may explain some of the gray hair. we have lost more fights than we've won. generally blue states try to just ignore the heller decision and the mcdonald decision. that's been the track so far forcing us law abiding citizens to try to move the process through the courts. the blue states are getting more blue, each trying to outdo each other to see who can put the most onerous, anti-gun, anti-civil rights laws into effect and hoping they can push that through. fortunately, in some of the states i have to work with, democrats, not republicans, because the democrats are all we have to work with to stop a lot of the very ugly bills, but the bottom line is as america, as we
become more separated between red and blue states, cities, municipalities, we're going to see more of this until we speak our voice. 120 million gun owners, 120 million voices that have a vote have to make our desires known to support our second amendment. >> now is not the time for complacency. >> you know, i got a question the other day, and you'll all get this. you know i do work with the nra. somebody said why does the nra keep sending fund-raising e-mails, acting like it is always a crisis. exactly. that was my response. in my lifetime it always has been a crisis. they've tried to absolutely ban handguns three times just since i have been around. they're still on this track now, trying to ban semi automatic rifles. tell me a time there's not a crisis. that's just one example.
but yes. they're always going to come because it's not about guns. this is about control. >> actually, i want to dovetail on that. i was going to say something really controversial which is that the second amendment has nothing to do with guns. which sounds counter intuitive. but it does not. guns of course are a part of it, but be it a gun, be it a knife, be it a billy club, be it martial arts, what the second amendment is about is the fundamental god given right of self defense. >> amen. >> protecting yourself. protecting your family. protecting your community. that's what this is about. and that's what these liberals, progressives, whatever they call themselves, they really, quite frankly, social democrats, maybe
even communists, but that's what they're trying to go after. so how dare they righteously point their fingers at us. we are on the right side, legislation. as you go back to your schools, your campuses, your communities, you go back with a stern back side knowing that you are on the right side of our constitution. you're on the right side of history and the right side of god. willes, with this terrible, terrible situation in florida, of course, the president was here yesterday, gave a kick butt speech and said unlike politicians that are going to point fingers of blame and say got to put the nra out of business and all of that kind of nonsense, that he's going to actually do something, and one of the things that many of us within the movement have been talking about is the number of
retired policemen, ex-veterans that would love the opportunity to protect children in our schools. was do you think about that idea? >> first of all, let me start with describing the president's speech as kick butt. yeah. was that a good description? yeah. all right. >> it was a pg version. >> all right. i'm on that. i don't know if we've done this because i'm in and out of rooms already. folks that are associated or have been with law enforcement or you're a first responder or military or former military, show of hands now. those of us in the room. i'm going to be talking -- thank you. thank you. i'm talking to everybody, including whatever viewing audience we have. but i'll be talking about you. and that's why i thought we ought to point you out. i am the president of the
national republican assemblies, so i do believe we should protect our children, all of our babies. and beginning at the start of this, i'll go back to a fundamental breakdown of the family. after 8 years of obama, we've lost confidence in the government and we allow christ to be kicked out of our schools. simply being allowed to carry a firearm is a deterrent. the guys have a mission. they don't want to fail in their mission. they'll go wherever it is easiest. the goal would be to protect your facility more than the other guy. that's the whole u.s. anti-terrorism and crime philosophy. harden your facility, the guy goes somewhere else because you can't stop everything. going forward, what do we want to do? we at least want to have this
discussion now whether schools need to be more secure. now, i am conservative, many of you are. i think this discussion has to engage the big picture. this week, a week after the parkland shooting and all of us are still emotional, planned parenthood killed more babies. racist policies banned firearms from law abiding citizens in chicago, in baltimore, in detroit, and the carnage on the streets continues. so all of that has to be part of this discussion they want. but in the big picture, do i believe that we can have soldiers, law enforcement operators who are trained and experienced help to secure our schools? absolutely. absolutely. >> thank you.
graham, get you back in here, a follow-up to my first question. what are the consequences of the supreme court not taking up the case of fulfilling the second part of the second amendment, and reigning in the federal courts that are upholding laws that are gun prohibitionists. >> that's a good point because the purpose of the supreme court is to police the legislatures on the bill of rights. order necessarily, the supreme court would intervene and say you can't do that. since the mcdonald rule that made heller applicable, they have zero second amendment cases. leaving that field open for the states. what we need is the supreme court to establish, build out
that jurisprudence, can i go to a gun range, take my boy hunting in texas with an a r r to shoot hogs? until that happens, we have one way in california, one way in texas. we don't have that for due process. you have the same rights if you're arrested in texas as you do in california. the first amendment, same thing. so the consequences are bad. the second series of consequences in my opinion are more long term. if we as a country can decide some rights are unfavorable at a particular point in time and limit them, there's not a restraint on the same thing happening 50, 100 years, 10 years from now. we have seen that in our history already when it comes to race, when it comes to gender, and how
rights are used. these rights are there to protect, for example, the first amendment, not there to protect popular speech, it is there to protect unpopular speech. when things become unpopular, that's when the right is there to stop it. that can happen with the second amendment, it can happen to others. people and the courts disregarding the significance of the individual right has implications for the longevity of freedom in this country. i don't think it is limited now. we learned that lesson and later it is applied to other things, and what i'm interested in is what does this country look like 100 years from now? i care right now, too, my kids and their grandkids, but 150 years ago somebody cared what this country looks like now. and we need to care what it looks like down the road. that means protecting these
rights. >> was it unusual for recently justice thomas to come out publicly to chastise his peers for not accepting more cases that involve the second amendment? >> justice thomas and the jackson dissent and sylvester dissent issued tuition, -- tuesday, it is readable. it has a long discussion of the disfavored rights. he pointed out if a state had a ten day wait period on abortion, he thinks that case would get served like that. ten day wait on handgun. >> what they dealt with on the case from california. >> can't get a cert review. he has a very articulate narrative about pointing out that we're not treating this right the way we do every other right and that's a problem for us. >> it is a problem. >> we're wrapping up this panel,
and carrie, this question is coming to you. obviously we're talking about the future of the second amendment, but really i think i know my father, may he rest in heaven, thank you. said to me many, many years ago that the bill of rights are an insurance policy for us. and quite frankly they all, all of the bill of rights, all nine of the bill of rights rest on the second amendment, because if the second amendment goes away, the other ones will go away as well, the domino effect. so carrie, when we talk about the future of the second amendment, we're talking about the future of the country. and i'm going to ask you, the gender partisan here, and say does the future of the second amendment in our country rest on
women? are they the critical demographic? if we win women, empower women, let them know this is about protection, not about aggressive violence, it is about protecting themselves from being victims and empower them, can we win this thing? >> i tell you what, when we get women together on a cause, ladies, what happens when you're put on a task? you get it done. and you get it done with passion, right? seriously, i think when we can unleash the voice of the female gun owner and their passionate stories, it's a game changer. and you know what, the media knows that. they're afraid of that. we just did an interview with 60 minutes minut minutes, i brought six women for a full day of interviewing. full day. not a second of it was aired.
this was on national reciprocity, a week or two ago. they were afraid of it. we were so articulate and responsible and passionate. >> and normal. >> and normal. just like normal. yeah. >> they couldn't show it. it was the wrong message, not what they wanted to show. i do think it is important. and i think we have to counter efforts of groups like moms demand, whatever town, whatever they're calling it now, whatever bloomberg is calling it now, their messaging is that women with guns is dangerous. you're going to get hurt with it. you're not strong enough. you can't handle that. and i tell you what, that's because they're afraid of us too. they know the power of the woman's voice and our activism, so they're shackling us to bondage, fear, victimhood. what kind of women's rights is that? that's not equality. i mean, we can be equal about
deciding, equal in the corporate world, be the president of the united states, have choice over our bodies and what happens to it. i want the choice over what happens to my body so i can defend it. >> that's right. >> anyway, ladies, get up, call to action. take someone shooting. doesn't have to be a woman. take someone shooting. that's my call to action. yes, you're going to go shooting? >> how many ladies are going to go shooting? raise your hands. i think they all did. outstanding. >> take a friend. >> very good. actually, i can't think of a better way to end this wonderful panel. please, ladies and gentlemen, give this wonderful panel, willes, carrie, graham, a round of applause. thank you all for coming. and remember, you are on the right side and at the right place. greatest cpac ever. thank you all. god bless you. today, the committee for responsible federal budget hosts
a series of discussions on the federal budget process. participants include chairs and ranking members of house and senate budget committees. live coverage at 12:35 p.m. eastern on cspan3. this week on the communicators. >> i thought the internet was borderless? >> that's really interesting. it can be borderless but what we've seen and the thing we need to focus on right now is it turns out that this medium we thought gave voice to the voiceless and in many cases did and power to the powerless can also be used by dictators, by terrorists, by dark political money to undermine democracy and we have got to address that problem. >> from the state of the net conference held in washington, d.c., we discuss the impact of technology on democracy and voting. watch tonight at 8:00 p.m.